~Memories of a sunflower

I remember that little girl from my first school. I remember how happy I felt around her, how she tied her hair in a twirled ponytail, how her voice quivered when she sang. But as hard as I try, I can’t remember her face. She comes to me only as a feeling, something which only a boy aged six years could understand. So I began writing a collection of short stories on memories..

~Memories of a sunflower

I noticed you on the roof, watering the lilies. You seemed worried and started whispering to me, so I told you to move around in circles. But then you started going inwards and your circles turned to whirlpools, and I tucked in my life, packed some plans and dived right in with you. I wished we would emerge outside the Ursa Major, the big bear, and ride him into carpets of celestial amnesia. I hoped to remember my dreams, but some things I needed to forget- like the monsoon you abandoned me.

Those cloudy afternoons, I swam and swam until everything I remembered had turned into a song of your whispers. I could hear it resonate across all stardust, it was right there with chuck berry, in the voyager. Some obscure being in a lonely, exploding meteor would fall in love hearing it. It would cock it’s ears to the spacecraft, eyes to the sun and see it’s blinding, furious fire. Like me, it would know crippling love for the first time. The kinds that would make it grow a heart, and orbit around the sun till the end of time. It’s your love that would make planets, nurturing little islands of dreams and oceans of being.

And today, as I face away from that sun, to watch your face, I pray that it’s sunflowers you prefer to lilies. I pray that my god is an animal. I pray that your whirlpools turn to cartwheels, and that you find happiness.

You did. Happiness came in a bunch of purple orchids delivered to your doorstep.And you marked it by plucking me off and setting me in your bun. I didn’t complain in those last hours, I would get a better view than the poor orchids on the fridge.

But I did wonder, Why my story titles were always better than my stories. And where did my stories take me? Into some paragraph in a page I barely remember, strung together in a line, stripped down to a word -Obscure.

 
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(The above painting is Room in Brooklyn By Edward Hopper)

February shivers.

It was just a subway ride. Really. But this year around, february seems as lost as me, sometimes rainy, sometimes angry, but mostly lost. Did it lose it’s way between the crushing winter and the promised spring? February, rattling up my heart. February, my wandering lover. February, don’t you see? This is how we’re meant to be. Wandering, wandering, shivering, shivering, till summer comes around and we realize. Oh it was better, so much better, when we were drifting, wandering, shivering in february.

 

You know they say
memories are strange things
I think they’re like metro stations,
disappearing one after another,
blocks of steel railings and hazy tress,
pushing you to where you ought to be
But I wish I could get off on my favorite station,
and stay there forever
Right when the door opens at age sixteen,
I realize this is it,
I want to be in school forever,
the world full of possibilities,
my veins full of life,
looking forward to football every week,
and the prom every year.
when all the books are still new,
and women haven’t lost their novelty.
With the MJ cassettes & a superman cape
You don’t really need anything, or anybody
floating around in that crystal ball
of four chord songs & afternoon dates.
Every little morning sends your body to shivers.
everything is exciting, everything is magic.
But well you know, you didn’t get out.
Your station is here, age twenty two.
Stepping out,the cold city chill does make you shiver
But not every shiver is the good kind;
So you head for a smoke.

Of infidelity and betrayal.

So I’ve been dreaming these strange dreams lately. Injured eagles. Erupting volcanoes. Aging queens. Dancing snakes. Talking cigarettes. Laughing dogs.  Sometimes, I’m flying, other times I’m fighting. The strange thing is, I can control the outcomes of these dreams most of the times. The only way I know that this is not a dream, is because I”m writing. I could never write, not for a dream.

Morning in a city- Edward Hopper (Image credits)

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I was smoking cigarettes all night.
And haggling to buy a sarangi.
I was making love to a beautiful woman.
eyes of an ocean,
lips like moonshine,
Legs, never ending legs and moans,
But she turned into a man.
So long, love, so long.
Her wounded eagle wrote me a sonnet.
My german showed me what it meant.
Of love and lovers.
My heart sinks.
My heart laughed.
It has played it’s part.
I am thinking of leaving,
Of infidelity and betrayal.

Leaving Trains

{ Childhood is a magical time. Every little thing seems so fascinating and surreal before you grow older and realize what they actually are- speeding trains, hissing snakes, vanishing magicians, god. I was lucky enough to spend a better part of my childhood in a sleepy town surrounded by such anomalies. This piece is a tribute to that little place, as much as to a time where I hadn’t yet discovered the big city I live in, a career, condoms, substance abuse or Quantin Tarantino. Chopan, I shall visit you again, someday.. }

The Man.

Leaving Trains.

Above the frightened night,
Just beneath the diamond sky,
You’ve got to listen, child.
Leaving trains run away, whistling
to blooming white roses in a backyard.

And green cricket balls come swirling
through forests and convent schools
And you’ve got to remember little one.
the nightingale’s call and the crocodile’s walk
and fiery conversations with dear god.

The hushed silence in the night
of the cricket’s song and the cobra’s dance
and the magician who was buried alive
And you’ve got to be grateful little one
to the gentle giant and his wiry friend.

And, above the frightened night,
Leaving trains run away, whistling
through tunnels dark and deep
bringing friends and faces lost in time
pelting stones and burning effigies

And you’ve got to understand, little one
Leaving trains will leave
And if you make peace,
And if you ever learn to love,
Even the empty tracks lead home.

Better Man

{ So, Readers, fans and poets, this is where it all started. “Better man” was written way back in 2009, probably my first attempt at verse or lyrics, or just expressing myself through the written word. It was scribbled very spontaneously with a permanent marker on my hands, fingers and elbows on a hot summer night; under the effect of a high fever and subsequent antibiotics. And although I remember having a hard time collecting the bits and pieces of words the morning after, I believe strongly that any work written ” in the moment ” is always more honest and has a natural flow. Watch the visual as you read! }

And now,
you’re in a dark room and life seems shit
its 3:40 in the night and you havent slept a wink
You hold your spinning head in your arms and the thoughts
so heavy, so cold
Like a frozen wave of some drink that you’re caught upon

And outside, the noise
songs playin about drugs and alcohol and love and war
but they all remind you of the same girl
oh, you so wanna kill her, hold her, and then kiss her
till nothing seems real anymore
till you lose your time, your space
her voice rings , the aspirin kicks in
youve lost your chance

and outside ,the lights
seem to make strange shapes that somehow
push way deep through your eyes, shivering
into your mind , you fall, from the red sky it seems

and the colours, they burst into your head
Disappointed,shimmering with rage
pointing , screaming hate , they surround
and oh you realise , oh you recall

had a chance to be a better man , a better man.

# 1 Heartbreak-The saga of Dr. E. Blackheart (2013- )

{ This one’s from the archives, the first of my Blackheart trilogy.. In a post apocalyptic scenario,  a dangerous alter ego of a man is born out of heartbreak and betrayal. I call him Dr. E Blackheart. The Artwork is by Tim Burton, one of my favorite artists, and comes pretty close to what I had visualized when I was writing this piece }

#Part 1- Heartbreak

Well blackheart, he staggers on the front porch
With the withered lilies and the silver ring
Through the keyhole he sees, he sees her sway

her perfect, luminous shape
her skirt on the diamond floor

And another man, another beast bares it’s teeth
and snarls in her ears, she opens her legs
and she croons, with her bee stung lips, the song he loves
Close your eyes doc, Open up
Run, Run, Run, Run, Run away

And she says she loves him so
And she’s never letting go
But that song still plays in his head
And she never means what she says

On her birthday, he takes her down to her favourite place
Under the moonlit oak trees right besides the red lake
He takes out the steel knife, she takes out the blueberry cake
says “Doc, why don’t you carve that out for me”
Gladly, he says
Gladly, he says

She thought she loved him so
That he was never meant to know
But sweet love, you thought so wrong
could’ve sung your lover any other song

And on some nights, he walks to the red lake, all alone
Slips on a silver ring and throws some lilies down below
He’s still got her clothes, and burns one everyday
Closes his eyes, opens her up
And then he runs, runs, runs, runs away
to her empty grave, it reads

” Thank you, Thank you love
The song makes so much more sense,
Through the keyhole.. “

– Your beloved, Dr. E. Blackheart (2013- )